Tlaib, Dingell Urge Federal Response to Assist Residents Facing Water Shutoffs
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswomen Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) pressed House Leadership to include resources to protect residents facing high water bills and water shutoff as Congress considers a fourth response package to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dingell and Tlaib’s letter follows their letter on March 25 which was signed by 80 Members of Congress urging the prohibition on water shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also plan to introduce the Emergency Water is a Human Right Act next week, which would place a moratorium on water shutoffs nationally for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis and provide immediate assistance to residents to prevent shutoffs.
“We must prevent water shutoffs by ensuring that no public water system servicing an individual or household disconnects or interrupts service during the COVID-19 emergency. That also means that debt collectors must not disconnect or terminate water or sewer service with respect to consumer water bill debts during this time,” the lawmakers wrote.
Dingell and Tlaib suggested using the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help provide low-income assistance for covering the costs of drinking water and wastewater services.
“No person living in the United States should be forced to survive without safe and clean water access, let alone during a global pandemic. It is essential that the next COVID-19 stimulus response bill include a water shutoff prohibition for the duration of the crisis as well as a fund that will help pay water bills for low-income households,” Dingell and Tlaib concluded.
Tlaib & Dingell’s letter to Speaker Pelosi is available here or below.